An Eastern Michigan University alumnus has obtained legal representation after EMU refuses to provide information on the potential sale of its Kresge Environmental Center.
Jay Sinclair wants to know exactly why Eastern is considering selling the center, that's also known as Fish Lake, in Lapeer. He submitted a Freedom of Information Act request regarding details and e-mails that have been sent among administrators about the possible sale, but he only received three documents. The rest were not released. Sinclair believes a public university needs to be more transparent.
"There's been a lot of not only lack of transparency, but a lot of foot dragging, and we're concerned that there is something in the works that might be put into place before we get the information. We need to have that open discussion. The lack of transparency is very, very disturbing."
Fish Lake has been appraised for $1.4 million dollars, but Sinclair says it's worth a lot more to the biology department, as well as others from EMU who use it for class or research.
"There really is not another location that would provide all the opportunities that Fish Lake provides."
Geoff Larcom is a spokesperson for Eastern.
"My understanding regarding Fish Lake discussions is that they are ongoing and that this is part of an institution wide discussion on resources so nothing has been decided at this point."
Sinclair is now being represented by a lawyer who filed an appeal for the FOIA request. A Facebook page has been created to Save Fish Lake.
— Jorge Avellan is the Ann Arbor beat reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org